I’ve noticed that over the last year my weight keeps fluctuating, and every time it goes up my confidence takes a bit of a knock. It would be super easy to blame COVID lockdown or the lack of sleep I’ve been getting because I have two little ones. And, while those things are real, I recognise that if I’m honest with myself they’re also excuses.
And I know I’m not alone. We all look for all sorts of reasons outside of ourselves for why we feel the way we do.
I recently had a client who shared with me that she keeps wearing the same clothes over and over. She’s been stuck at home, has gained weight and it’s really knocked her confidence. So much so that she now tries to avoid going anywhere where she might need to dress up.
Lacking confidence because of weight gain is such a common scenario for women. And while, for sure, the pandemic hasn’t helped, we can’t hang our hats solely on that for the reason why.
I’ll let you in on a secret…
Confidence is an inside job! No pandemic, children, job, relationship or anything else can make us feel unconfident or, on the flip side, confident. While it might look like those things contribute to how we feel, the truth is they just don’t have that power over us!
How we feel begins and ends with the thoughts we have that we hold on to and then create an experience of. Holding on to a whole host of negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can have a knock-on effect with so many different areas of our lives. This is exactly what was happening with my client that I mentioned. She avoided meeting family or friends because of what she thought about her body and clothes, which in turn impacted her confidence.
First and foremost, I want to really encourage you to be gentle with yourself and take care of you. We can often have the tendency to not love ourselves fully when we don’t look a particular way.
When we find ourselves in that place our internal dialogue can become critical and harsh. We start saying things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying to our kids or friends, so why do we think it’s ok to say them to ourselves?
It’s ok to acknowledge that some areas might need improving. But we need to remember that it’s a two-way relationship. We need to treat our bodies with love and kindness and gratitude. When you think about it, your body already does so much – criticising it will do nothing for your self-esteem or motivation.
For most people, having clothes in their wardrobe that no longer fit makes them feel worse.
So, first things first, you need to have a reality check and see what fits you.
Anything that doesn’t fit you at the moment, I want you to put those clothes aside. Or better still put them in a box or somewhere you can’t see them.
If you’ve gained a lot of weight over a long period of time, then I urge you to start thinking about giving these clothes away.
Clothes that no longer serve you but are still hanging in your wardrobe don’t encourage you to feel good about yourself and are not good for your sanity. Seeing items every morning that don’t fit anymore is not the best way to start your day. In fact, it’s a sure-fire way to start beating yourself up before your day has even started.
So, they need to go!
Pack them up and either donate them to charity or give them to someone you know will get use out of them.
After you’ve cleared out the clothes that aren’t serving you right now, look at what’s left. Decide what you want to add that will help you feel good about your wardrobe and give you a few different options, so it won’t feel like you’re always wearing the same clothes.
Make a shopping list of possible items and then buy a few that, when you think about them, you feel good about your outer appearance.
I’ll do it when…
Something I often hear is women saying that they’ll join my program once they’ve lost weight.
While of course there are always exceptions to every rule, I can honestly say that in all my time as a personal stylist, rare is the woman who actually gets to her ideal weight while she’s waiting! Instead, a common pattern is that they get stuck in a cycle of not feeling good about themselves and wearing clothes that don’t lift them up either. This often causes overeating and doing less, which just perpetuates the cycle.
In my experience, when clients who are carrying extra weight invest time in their outer appearance and learn how to dress for the body they have right now, the weight actually comes off more quickly and easily.
Honestly – it’s like magic!
Because they’re feeling good about themselves and want to have more of that feel good factor, they’re naturally inspired to start taking better care of themselves.
Having clothes we actually like wearing and feel amazing in makes the world of difference to every woman. Looking and feeling great whatever the scales say, can’t help but raise our confidence and ignite our self-love.
If you’re someone whose shape has changed, it’s time to start exploring how to dress your body as it is right now. To find out how to do this, and start using your clothes to your advantage, join my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass. CLICK HERE to register.